National E-Waste Collection and Disposal Centre in the offing

Since the early 1990s there has been a steady increase in the number of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) and devices imported into Uganda for both domestic and commercial purposes.

Such technology and equipment has it’s positives in terms of increasing efficiency and simplifying developmental processes. However, this has come with concerns about environmental, human and health safety of such electronics at the end of their useful lifespan. At this point old devices and equipment turn into electronic waste; e-waste.

E-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream globally and Uganda has not been spared. A 2017 UN Environment Agency survey estimated the stock of e-waste in Uganda at an annual growth rate of 25,000 tons.

This required special attention to be given to the sector and for interventions to be adopted to mitigate the adverse effects of e-waste to human health and the environment.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), charged with the regulation of waste management in Uganda, conducted a needs assessment survey for e-waste with support form UNDP; and has taken several steps to address the emerging concerns.

NEMA is working closely with the Ministry of Information Communications Technology (MoICT), National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) and other stake holders who form the National E-waste Steering Committee to set up a sustainable national E-waste collection and disposal centre.

Plans are under way to draft standard operating procedures on how to handle electronic waste.

Setting up of the National E-waste collection and disposal centre is in the final stages and the facility is set to be commissioned later this year.